Imagine there’s no Sgt Pepper. It’s all too easy in the era of Trump and May | John Harris

13 hours ago

This great Beatles album is as thrilling a listen as ever on its 50 th anniversary: but its a melancholy day for the one-world counterculture the record soundtracked

At the time Sgt Pepper was released, the American writer Langdon Winner once recalled, I happened to be driving across the country on Interstate 80. In each city where I stopped for gas or food Laramie, Ogallala, Moline, South Bend the tunes wafted in from some far-off transistor radio or portable hi-fi For a brief while, the irreparably fragmented consciousness of the west was unified, at the least in the minds of the young.

How far away it all seems. On 26 May the 50th anniversary of the Beatles Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band( it actually falls on 1 June) is likely to be marked by the release of remixed and repackaged versions of the original album. With his characteristically jolly meeknes, Paul McCartney insists in the latest issue of Mojo magazine that its only a record but its gained in notoriety over the years. The truth is that Sgt Pepper might be the most confident, boundary-pushing record British rock musicians had already been generated, and it is worth revisiting again.

We might also think about the era the album crystallised, and its long legacy. Sgt Pepper is not quite the quintessentially psychedelic, love-and-peace artefact of historical cliche: streaked through its multicoloured astonish is a very Beatle-ish various kinds of melancholy, partly rooted in the bands decidedly unpsychedelic postwar childhoods. But the wider culture moment, and the Beatles place at its heart, were indeed replete with beads, buzzers and a wide-eyed optimism.

Three weeks after the album came out, the band were the biggest attraction in the worlds first global satellite TV demonstrate, singing All You Need Is Love to an audience of as many as 350 million. Meanwhile, on both the US west coast and in swinging London, young people on the cutting edge genuinely were trying to push into a future very different from the one their parents had envisaged.

The so-called counterculture may not initially have reached much beyond its urban nerve centres and campuses. But the basic ideas Sgt Pepper soundtracked soon acquired enough influence to begin no end of social revolutions. A new emphasis on self-expression was manifested in the decisive arrival of feminism and gay liberation. Countries and borders came a distant second to the idea of one world.

Such shibboleths as matrimony until death and a job for life were quickly weakened. Once the leftist unrest of 1968 was out of the way, the shift continued away from the old-fashioned politics of systems and social structures towards the idea of freeing ones mind everything coloured with an essentially optimistic position of the future.

Two years after Sgt Peppers release, a young alumnu at Wellesley College, a women-only institution in Massachusetts, dedicated a speech. Our persisting acquisitive and competitive corporate life, including tragically the universities, is not the way of life for us, she said. Were searching for more immediate, ecstatic, and penetrating modes of living. And so our topics, our questions about our institutions, about our colleges, about our churches, about our government continue.

Her name was Hillary Rodham, and her journey says a lot about where 1960 s values eventually resulted us. To quote the music novelist Charles Shaar Murray, the line from hippy to yuppie was not nearly as convoluted as some people subsequently liked to believe and once the love decades more ambitious alumni reached positions of power, the origin of many of their notions was as clear as day.

Their professed distaste for corporate values fell away, but the hippy individualism summed up in the future Hillary Clintons insistence on immediate and ecstatic ways of life lived on, as did a questioning attitude to tradition, and to the stifling the limit of the old-fashioned nation state.

After the anti-6 0s backlash symbolised by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, by the mid-9 0s such notions were shaping a new political establishment, exemplified by Bill Clinton, and Blair and Browns New Labour. I am a modern man, from the rocknroll generation. The Beatles, colour TV, thats my generation, said Blair. Clinton honked away at his saxophone and ended his rallies with a song by Fleetwood Mac.

It is not hard to read across from these legislators ideals to what they soaked up in their formative years. In 2005 Blair, who fronted a long-haired band while at Oxford University, told the Labour party conference that people should be swift to adapt, slow to complain open, willing and able to change. Collectivity was yesterdays thing; against a background of globalisation and all-enveloping liberalism, governments task was to encourage people to be as flexible and self-questioning as possible.

John Lennons response to the rebels of 68: the Beatles build Revolution rock

Go back 50 years, and you perhaps hear early stirrings of those ideas, soaked in patchouli petroleum and put to tape at EMIs Abbey Road studios. Try George Harrisons Indian-flavoured Within You Without You: Try to realise its all within yourself/ No one else can construct you change . Or what about John Lennons response to the rebels of 68 in Revolution( on the so-called White Album )? You tell me its the institution/ Well, you know/ Youd better free your intellect instead . As for a picture of globalised utopia, after the Beatles had broken up, Lennon released that saccharine anthem Imagine, with its key line: Imagine theres no countries .

And now? If youre a citizen of the world, youre a citizen of nowhere, says our new “ministers “. If we do indeed live in the post-liberal times endlessly analysed in academic papers, it is the inheritance of the 60 s that is in question. For sure, many of the changes that originated then have become irreversibly embedded in millions of lives. Positions to marriage, sexuality and matters such as race are seemingly more liberal than ever; wherever you go, youre never very far from the whiff of marijuana smoke.

But the dominance of post-6 0s individualism and globalisation is being weakened by the resurgence of collective identities meant to have withered away: class, nation, region. And if the events of 2016 and 2017 are anything to go by, political success now often goes to people whose values seem the polar opposite of the old counterculture.

Duty, nationhood, and regular trips to church: whatever values Theresa May affects to represent, they are surely redolent of a world that existed long before the 1960 s( consider also her parliamentary record, which includes votes against equalising the age of permission, lesbian adoption and the repeal of section 28 ).

Last year, a New York Post article contrasted Hillary Clintons embodiment of the campus 1960 s with the sense that Donald Trump was an unexpected throwback to the Rat Pack, those macho exemplars of everything the hippies wanted to sweep away. Trump, said the author, represented pre-Feminist Man, the guy who boasts about never having changed a nappy and expects subservience from his wives.

Sgt Pepper arrived two decades after the second world wars objective: approximately the same historical distance that separates the Brexit/ Trump age from the high point of the Clinton/ Blair era. Devote a 21 st-century polish, the albums music voices as thrilling as ever, though with a bittersweet sense of a credo abruptly falling victim to a counter-revolution.

On the last track of the old side two, the bell-like piano chords that begin A Day in the Life are applied to sound like the death knell of all the inward-looking, fusty, moralistic ideas the Beatles came to do away with. How strange to tune in half a century afterwards and find all that stuff back with a vengeance.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Obama to Letterman: No Sense of Relief After Turning Presidency Over to Trump

2 days ago

It is somehow fitting that Barack Obama’s first talk-show appearance since leaving the White House was with his fellow retiree David Letterman.

On Friday, Netflix premiered the very first episode of My Next Guest Requires No Introduction, David Letterman’s heavily anticipated and unexpected follow-up to The Late Show . And he landed a hell of a first guest in the 44 th president of the United States.

Despite the inevitable exhilaration surrounding their sit-down, Letterman and Obama seemed far more relaxed this time than they ever did on CBS. For both men, the stakes are a lot lower now. Between Obama’s open collar and Letterman’s massive beard, they are finally free to just be themselves.

Obama appeared on The Late Show With David Letterman nine times, from just after he was elected to the Senate in 2004 to the host’s farewell show in 2015, where he joined Bill Clinton and both Bushes for a taped send-off to the Tv legend. But it was Obama’s last real guest place on The Late Show that opened the first episode of My Next Guest Requires No Introduction .

At the time, Obama joked with Letterman about playing dominoes and going to Starbucks together once they were both retired. Two years later, we ensure a bearded Letterman call up Obama and ask him to collaborate. When an off-screen voice asks him how it went, he replies,” I think it was a’ no .'”

In lieu of a traditional monologue, Letterman emerged onto the stage and delivered a few off-the-cuff statements before asking members of the audience to guess who his astound guest will be. One guessed” William Jefferson Clinton ,” but the crowd seemed far more enthusiastic to watch Obama emerge from the wings.

When Letterman began by noting that both men lately left long-term jobs, Obama joked,” I was not fired though ,” inducing the host laugh–and not for the last day. What Letterman wanted to know is what Obama’s first post-presidency day was like.

” It was afterwards, I slept in, which I was pretty happy about ,” Obama said.” And I took Michelle on a holiday, because I missed my wife .” When they got back to their new house in D.C ., Obama said he did not miss the “trappings” of his old job and” enjoyed puttering around the house .”

When Letterman asked if there was a feeling of “relief,” Obama said no. Instead,” there was a sense that I had run the race, I had completed it, I was proud of the work that we had done, and I was ready for the next stage .”

Letterman admitted that there was a” palpable sadness” on his part when Obama left the White House.” But then I see you and you’re hang gliding and your climbing volcanoes and you’re windsurfing and you’re wrestling sharks on somebody’s private island ,” he said,” and I’m at Bed, Bath and Beyond picking out hangers! Something’s wrong here .”

The two men expended a good part of their interview reminiscing about the early days of the Obama administration–and the early years of Obama’s life–but the conversation was most compelling when they discussed the year since he turned the presidency over to Donald Trump, especially because we have heard so few from the former chairman during that time.

The interview was videotapeed well in advance of its release, so there wasn’t much talking here current events. No reaction from Obama to Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury or President Trump’s ” shithole countries” comment. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t talk politics.

Letterman started with a “hypothetical” topic about which would be more damaging to our republic,” the diminishment by the head of that democracy of press” or” somebody bolt around with the actual voting process .”

Obama said that “one of the biggest challenges” to our republic is that” we don’t share a common base line of facts .” He added,” What the Russians exploited–but it was already here–was we are operating in completely different information universes .”

To loud applause, he said,” If you watch Fox News, you are living on a different planet than if you listen to NPR .” Facebook and Twitter merely exacerbate this problem by reinforcing people’s existing beliefs, Obama explained.

Beyond the Obama interview, the episode was intercut with footage from another interview Letterman conducted on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, with civil-rights icon Rep. John Lewis( R-GA ). The congressman was a bit more candid in his disapproval of Trump than Obama was willing to be, calling him a” menace , not just to our “countries “, but to the planet .”

Throughout the episode, Letterman joked about his desire to still have Obama as his president.” If it were not for the Constitution, there’d be Michelle ,” Obama said, by which he did not entail the former first lady would be president, but that she never would have let him bide for a third term.” Michelle would leave me ,” he said.” And I want her around .”

By the end of the interview, Letterman was nearly in tears as he told Obama that,” Irrespective of the man or girl who holds the office, you have to respect the office of president ,” before adding,” Without a question of a doubt, you are the first chairwoman I truly and fully respect .”

They may not have violated any news in their virtually hour-long talk, but there was something deep fulfilling about watching these two legends emerge from their much-deserved retirements for one night and open up about “peoples lives”.

Read more: www.thedailybeast.com

Trump Admits He’s A ‘Sexual Predator’ In 2006 Clip — And Ivanka Just Laughs

4 days ago

Alright, everyone! Weve gotten confirmation from Donald Trump himself that he is indeed a sex predator.

By now, youre likely saying, Amanda, tell us something we dont know, right?

Im serious, though.

He made the confession during Howard Sterns talk show in 2006 one year after he boasted about his star-studdedpussy-grabbing abilities to Billy Bush.

The talk show, co-hosted byRobin Shudders, had Trump on to promote The Apprentice.

According to DailyMail.com, Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. attended the demonstrates taping as well.

The New York Postdug up a clip from the interview thatshows Sterncalling Donald a sex predator, and Donald agreeing to the description.

Apparently, the conversation started when Stern asked the Republican nominee if he had ever discussed the topic of sexuality with Ivanka.

After he answered, No, Stern took the conversation to a whole new level of awkward.

Verbatim, the talk show hostsays,

Donald, severely, you know about sexual predators and things like that I mean

Then, Quivers chimes in without hesitation and says,

You are one!

Just when Donald had the golden opportunity to defend himself, he shrugged his shoulders and mouthed, Thats true.

To induce matters even weirder, Ivanka giggled it off and patted her father on the back, as if being a sex predator is something to be proud of.

Read more:

Barack Obama says Donald Trump may have ‘enough craziness’ to be president

5 days ago

In a wide-ranging interview, the US president tells ABC he thinks Obamacare will survive Republican repeal attempts

Barack Obama believes Donald Trump is very engage and gregarious and not lacking in confidence, to the point where he may have enough craziness to think[ he] can do the job. But he wont say if he likes him.

The US president spoke to ABC This Week host George Stephanopoulos, in a wide-ranging interview that was recorded on Friday.

The conversation included reflections on Obamas time in the White House, which ends with Trumps inauguration on 20 January, his achievements and letdowns in domestic and foreign policy and his expectations regarding his legacy.

Asked if he guesses his Obamacare health reform, his chief domestic accomplishment, will survive a Trump presidency and a Republican-controlled Congress, he said: I think it will.

Questioned about the president-elects controversial stance to intelligence agencies faith that Russia intervened in the US election on his behalf, and favourable statements about Russia and its president, Obama counselled trust in such agencies.

We have to remind ourselves were on the same squad, he said. Vladimir Putins not on our team.

Stephanopoulos asked Obama what he had tried to impress on Trump since the Republican victory over Hillary Clinton in November.

The conversations have been cordial, Obama said. He has been open to suggestions, and the main thing that Ive tried to transmit is that theres a difference between governing and campaigning.

Trump has spoken favourably of such conversations with Obama, although he just said, in a typically incautious tweet, that he was trying to disregard the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks. Thought it was going to be a smooth transition – NOT!

Obama, spoke of his familiar measured tones, said Trump would soon be in charge of the largest organisation on earth which he would not be able to manage[ in] the style you would manage a family business.

Trump is due to hold a press conference his first since July on Wednesday, to outline routes in which he intends to lessen or avoid conflicts of interest between his business empire, members of his family and his new political role.

Stephanopoulos asked how Trump had impressed Obama so far.

You know, the president said, he is somebody who I think is very engaging and gregarious.

Do you like him, Stephanopoulos asked.

You know, Ive enjoyed the conversations that weve had, Obama said. He is somebody who I think is not lacking in confidence, which is probably a prerequisite for the job, or at the least you have to have enough craziness to think that you can do the job.

I is considered that he has not spent a lot of time sweating a detailed description of, you know, all the policies

Asked if that fretted him, Obama said he saw himself more at the policy wonk end of the spectrum, and said a lack of familiarity with policy details could be both a strength and a weakness for Trump.

I think its fair to say that he and I are sort of opposites in some ways, he added.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

On final Ukraine trip, Biden urges Trump administration to keep Russia sanctions

9 days ago

Comments while meeting with Ukraines president came after Trump indicated he could aim Crimea-related sanctions in return for a nuclear arms reduction deal

Vice-president Joe Biden, on a last foreign journey before leaving office, fulfilled Ukraines president on Monday and called on the incoming Donald Trump administration to retain Ukraine-related sanctions against Russia.

Bidens comments at a briefing with Petro Poroshenko came after Trump indicated in an interview with the Times and Bild that he could aim sanctions imposed in the aftermath Russias 2014 annexation of Crimea, in return for a nuclear arms reduction bargain.

Trumps attitude to Russia and praise for Vladimir Putin has been a consistently controversial feature of his rise to the White House, which will be completed with his inauguration in Washington on Friday.

US intelligence agencies believe Russia sought to covertly influence the US election in Trumps favour and against the Democratic nominee, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. Trump has recently admitted that he believes Russia did orchestrate such hackers, but has nonetheless fuelled a bitter feud with intelligence officials over the issue.

The international community must continue to stand as one against Russian coercion and aggression, Biden told reporters, standing alongside Poroshenko, in remarks which did not include reference to Trump by name.

The Crimea-related sanctions against Russia must remain in place until Russia returns full control to the people of Ukraine.

Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. Other US sanctions are connected to Russias involvement in the separatist war in eastern Ukraine.

Together with our EU and G7 partners, Biden said, we made it clear that sanctions should remain in place until Russia fully, emphasise fully, enforces its commitments under the Minsk agreement.

Poroshenko said Ukraine believed in good cooperation with the new US administration and urged sanctions to stay, without mentioning Trumps statements on a deal with Russia.

Andy Hunder, the head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, said Kiev would have to put much time and resources into dealing with the new US administration.

On 20 January Ukraine will be waking up to a new reality, he told Reuters. There is a concern in Kiev about how the new relationship will develop. It will require constructing new bridges to the influencers, the gatekeepers and decision-makers.

Kiev has taken steps to win the very best favour of the those calling the shoots in the Trump administration. Days after the election in November, Poroshenkos office started planning an official visit to Washington in early 2017.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Benedict Cumberbatch Reads The Tale of Election 2016

27 days ago

Sadly democracy failed today, as Donald Trump get voted into office. For us in Germany it as a non-explainable tragedy that feels very surreal just now. Yesterday everything was a lot more funny- like when Cevelig Bumbacatch got to read a little bedtime story for James Corden…

“Nearing bedtime, James Corden calls in his papa, Benedict Cumberbatch, for a tale and resolves on the tale of the 2016 election, pitting Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump.”

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Your Date’s Height Could Reveal If He’s Voting For Trump, Science Says

28 days ago

It’s the first date, and you WANT to know your date’s political beliefs before you get in too deep. But you also don’t want to completely kill the mood.

Ugh. TOTAL PICKLE, right? What’s a person to do?

Well, I’ve got a little trick for ya: Maybe pay a little extra attention to yourdate’s height. A recent examine published online in theBritish Journal of Political Science using data from Britain been shown that the taller a person is, the more likely he or she is to support a conservative politician.

So, that telephone pole of a basketball player you merely went on a date with? Odds are, he’s voting for Trump.

Sara Watson, co-author of the study and an assistant professor of political science atOhio State University, explained the findings 😛 TAGEND

If you taketwo people with nearly identical characteristics except one is taller than the other on average, the taller person will be more politically conservative.

Watson conducted thestudy with Raj Arunachalam, a senior economist at Bates White, LLC.

The researchers analyzeddata from the 2006 British Household Panel Study. As part of the study, over 9,700 adultswere asked to respond toa survey that included questions regarding their self-reported height, detailed income data and political beliefs.

The authors found that the link between height and political viewsoccurred for both men and women, butthe connection was virtually TWICEas strong for men.

For men, each additional inch of height resulted in a 0.8 percentage increase in their likelihood to subsistence conservatives, while each additional inch only resulted in a 0.4 percent increase for women.

According to Watson, theseresults aren’t as random or as weird as they may seem. There are lots of studies out there that discover that taller people generally earn higher incomes than shorter people do.

Researchers have also widely agreedthatincome plays a role in the way people tend to vote. People who earnmore and arealso taller, on average tend to vote more conservatively.

Of course, such studies is not from the United States, so it isn’t necessarily went on to say that tall people are voting for Trump. It’s just sayingthat they tend to vote more conservatively, and in the United States, Trump is our more conservative candidate.

But before you go and write your date off for being a hippie liberal only because she’s 5’4 ” or a woman-hating Trump supporter merely because he’s 6’3 ”, Watson wants to remind us, “Income and height play a role, but they are not political destiny.”

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Lana Del Rey Says She Cast A Spell On Donald Trump And No One’s Surprised

1 month, 6 days ago

In February, Elite Daily reported that witches around the world were planning a hex on Donald Trumpand the hex wasset torepeat on every waning crescent moon throughout 2017. The spell, which induced therounds on the internet on February 24, is known in the witch community as a binding spell, which entails its aim was to bind Trump from perpetrating any harm on minority groups he has previously targeted, like Latinos, LGBTQ+ individuals, and refugees. And on that same day, Lana Del Rey was active on Twitter, hinting to her adherents( in her usual Lana way not immediately ), that she was indeed planning on casting a spell on Trump .

She left an eerie and vague message to her fans about the ritual, accompanied with a photo of herself dressed in all black and raising her left hand.


She posted the hex schedule to her Twitter account.

She tweeted,

At the stroke of midnight
Februrary 24, March 26, April 24, May 23
Ingredients can b found online


Fans were quick to construct the connection to the binding spell, and posted the aforementioned ingredients directly online.

And now, in an interview with to promote her new album ,, Lana confirmed to the publication that she did, in fact, cast a spell on Donald Trump .

When requested information about the hex that she tweeted out on February 24, Lana told,

Yeah, I did it. Why not? Look, I do a lot of sh* t.

asked if she regularly practised spells, and Lana changed the subject while shedding some light on her core faith 😛 TAGEND

I’m in line with Yoko and John and the faith that there’s a power to the vibration of a gues. Your thoughts are very powerful things and they become words, and words become actions, and actions lead to physical changes.

Her unapologetic attitude on the situation , not only resembles Trump’s usual dissertation on criticism, but is also gaining a lot of support from her fans on Twitter.


Witchy vibes are nothing new for Lana.

Back in March, Lana released thefirstpromo, taunting some serious witch vibes. The black-and-white film showed Lana dressed in all black and balancing floating crystal balls and sand vials.

In the trailer, she spoke heavily of the trying times Americans are currently living in, indicating her album would heavily relate to American culture under the guise of Trump.

Lana Del Rey is known for herdark and gloomy vibes and statement music videos, and after announcing tolast week that she would no longer use American flag imageryon tourbecause it is uncomfortable now that Trump is president, this hex should come as no surprise to her fans.

Kudos to Lana for not devoting a f* ck about her witch status, and taking a stand against Trump in her own way.

Lana Del Rey’s latest album, “re coming out” on July 21.

Read more:

Sean Hannity Should Probably Shut Up About Sexual Assault

1 month, 9 days ago

How can one condemn Al Franken and soft-pedal Roy Moore? Ask Sean Hannity.

The last week has proven that Hannity is, without a doubt, the worst various kinds of exploitative, unprincipled political hack, in case there was any remaining shred of doubt. But in this instance, Hannity’s self-satisfied rhetorical autofellatio has been so hypocritical it’s a new low, even for him.

Let’s start with how he handled accusations against Alabama’s Republican nominee for Senate, Roy Moore. After the Washington Post published a story quoting 30 sources, and alleging that Moore had, when he was in his 30′ s, pursued romantic relationships with teenage girls( including allegedly molesting a 14 -year-old ), Hannity invited his viewers to hop aboard the If True Express–as though there were perhaps holes in the Post ‘ s reporting that would come out once Breitbart sent two of its oiliest reporters to Alabama to discredit the women. Hannity devoted Moore a chance to explain himself on his radio prove. A safe space, if you are able to. He also had an expert on to discuss how most sexual assault is made up.

That didn’t go over well, so Hannity issued a tough-talk ultimatum. Moore had to respond to the allegations in 24 hours, or else … well he didn’t really say or else what; suffice to say, Hannity was about to get real mad. But then, Hannity backpedaled, claiming that as a New York City TV yeller he had no right to tell the people of Alabama to vote one way or another( despite the fact that his undertaking has, for many moons, entailed telling people all over the country how he thinks they should vote ). He wimped out. He surrendered. He caved. He chickened out. Reports today indicated that Hannity backed off because Steve Bannon recommended him to. Wow. Truly brave.

One would think that after such a pusillanimous display, wherein Hannity proved that he only believes that sexual molestation and harassment are bad if Steve Bannon thinks it should be talked about as bad, Sean Hannity would sit on his hands the next time sexual assault entered the news. I mean, he’d merely both-sides’d child molestation. Doesn’t really have a leg to stand on when it comes to other stuff, right?

Nope. News that Al Franken had groped and harassed model and radio personality Leeann Tweeden in 2006 was as irresistible to Sean Hannity as a teenage daughter to a thirtysomething Roy Moore. Last night, Hannity deemed the Minnesota Democrat” Senator Grope”( uh, good one .) He assaulted Franken in the same week he let Moore off the hook. It was fucking shameless.

This isn’t the first time that Sean Hannity has use women who were sexually victimized as props for his own political aims. After the Access Hollywood videotape leaked last year, Sean Hannity dismissed Donald Trump’s” grab’ em by the pussy” comments as merely words. When girls came forward — 15 in total–to accuse the Republican presidential nominee of sexual misconduct, Hannity called the narrative a “distraction” and pointed out that what Trump was alleged to have done wasn’t as bad as what Bill Clinton had done. He also suggested that one of Trump’s alleged victims might have been asking for it.

Around the same time, he invited Bill Clinton’s alleged victims on to discuss what they’d been through. Hannity believed them.

It’s true that what Bill Clinton has been accused of is worse than what Donald Trump has been accused of. But Clinton’s misdeeds don’t launder Trump’s. Things can be morally bad if they’re not the very worst. Claiming Trump’s misdeeds should be exonerated by Clinton’s worse deeds is like claiming, at an assault trial, that you shouldn’t be charged with anything because you didn’t commit murder. It’s idiotic.

But now, Hannity is taking the opposite tack, siding with the bad guy whose alleged misdeeds are much greater in degree than the one whose misdeeds he’s now condemning. What Al Franken did was surely bad. What Roy Moore is alleged to have done is worse, from both a legal and moral standpoint. Both actions are bad, both cause harm, and both are unbecoming of U.S. Senators. Claiming that Franken deserves to be thrown off a cliff while Moore deserves a chance is as backwards as wanting to legalize assassination but turning assault into a capital crime.

The #MeToo moment’s spillage into Washington has laid bare the boundless craven opportunism among a certain political ilk. Hannity’s moral relativism on sexual assault contributes to a social stance that is harmful to women who come forward after being harassed or assaulted. If females know that their stories will either be embraced or waved off depending on who they’re accusing and who they’re telling, why even come forward at all? The beauty of the #MeToo moment is that women finally feel as though they’re being listened to. Hannity’s philosophy is, ultimately, that political agenda trumps female personhood, that some women’s lived experiences are more valuable than others( and another, unfortunately, are not valuable at all ). If he’d ever demonstrated a capability for shame, I’d say Sean Hannity should be ashamed of himself.

But he’s not alone in exploiting this moment. For more on female personhood in the Trump era, let’s turn to the White House. Donald Trump, after laying low on the Moore issue, today tweeted about how hard he was clutching his pearl over Al Franken. It’s not clear why anybody would lean into a kick down the groin like that; with that, Trump opened himself up to a media revisit of the dozen-plus women who have accused the president of sex misconduct, and we’ll likely be re-familiarizing ourselves with those asserts over the next few days.

But what struck me most today, a trash day in a garbage pile of a week in a steaming dump of a year, was how Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended the White House’s insane stance.” Senator Franken has admitted wrongdoing and the President hasn’t ,” she told reporters today. What matters, in the eyes of the White House and Sean Hannity, are the words of men. And women, the only women who aren’t liars in their minds, are the ones who agree.

Read more: www.thedailybeast.com

Trump row could kill off swift post-Brexit trade bargain, says former UK envoy

1 month, 9 days ago

Quick transatlantic trade bargain should be put out of our intellects says former ambassador, as poll depicts 72% of British public suppose chairwoman is a risk to international stability

Donald Trump’s degenerating relationship with Britain is likely to kill off any lingering cabinet hopes of a swift post-Brexit trade deal with the United States, a former British diplomat to Washington has warned.

Sir Nigel Sheinwald said that a series of controversial interventions by the US president in British issues meant that the remote prospect of a quick transatlantic bargain, heralded by pro-Brexit cabinet members, should now be” put out of our minds” for good.

His intervention comes as a new poll highlights the British public’s opposition to Trump in the wake of his decision to cancel a trip to the UK, with fewer than a fifth of voters( 18%) believing he is a friend of Britain.

Almost three-quarters of voters( 72%) also believe that the US president is a risk to international stability, according to a new Opinium poll for the Observer . A similar proportion( 71%) believe he is untrustworthy. Two in five voters believe that Trump should not be visiting Britain at all.

Sir
Sir Nigel Sheinwald, the former British diplomat to the US. Photograph: Paul Morigi/ Getty Images

The dim view taken by the British public over the outspoken chairwoman comes after Whitehall insiders suggested that the clashes he has had with Britain over the last year contributed to his decision to cancel a visit to open the new US embassy in London. A mass protest had also been expected during Trump’s visit, which would have marked a further shame for the president.

The special relationship between the UK and US has taken a series of reaches since Theresa May became the first foreign leader to visit President Trump in the early stages of last year. Trump has attacked the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, re-tweeted posts by a British far-right group, and publicly turned on May for criticising his comments.

Trump confirmed on Twitter last week that he had cancelled a trip-up to open the new US embassy in Vauxhall because he disagreed with the process of moving it from Mayfair to an” off place” south of the Thames. While he blamed the Obama administration, the deal was signed under George W Bush’s presidency. In an extraordinary intervention, the US embassy itself took the step of releasing a detailed statement correcting the president. The very unusual move is a sign of the tensions between Trump and his international diplomats.

Sheinwald, the British diplomat to the US from 2007 to 2012, said he had always believed that a swift trade deal with the US was unlikely, but that the most recent episode should end hopes by some Brexiters that it could be done by Brexit day in March 2019.

” Given that Trump’s attitude to the UK seems to have changed for the worst over the last year, at the least in a superficial and tonal style, I think that takes out another of the arguments put forward by thinking that this would be a great positive for the UK in the post-Brexit world ,” he said.” It will be important for us to get a deal with the Americans, but it will take a long time.

” If you’re a Liam Fox[ the international trade secretary ], who has staked so much on the American bargain being easy and within our reach around the same day as Brexit, then the style in which the bilateral ties has atrophied and the tone has changed in the past year since May’s first visit is quite a big blow.

” It means we should put out of our intellects the idea that just around the corner when we leave the EU there is a magical enter into negotiations with the US that is going to solve all our trade and industrial problems. Absolutely not .”

Sir Christopher Meyer, another former British diplomat to the US, said that he believed the present cooling of relations made little difference, as the the opportunities of a swift bargain had always been far-fetched.

Sadiq Khan, who welcomed Trump’s decision to shelve his trip to the UK, was targeted by pro-Trump protesters yesterday as he gave a speech in central London. His address was delayed by a few minutes after a demo by a group “ve called the” White Pendragons. They were escorted out of the venue by police.

After Trump’s recent declaration that he believed he was a” stable genius”, many British voters compare themselves favourably against the president’s intellect. Nearly half( 47%) believe they are more intelligent than Trump, according to the Opinium poll. More than two-fifths( 44%) believe Trump is less intelligent than the average person. A fifth( 18%) believe he is more intelligent than average.

In words of overall party support, the poll showed that Labour and the Tories are now neck-and-neck on 40% subsistence. It means Labour has relinquished a two-point leading from a month ago. The Liberal Democrat continue to struggle on only 6% support. Vince Cable, the Lib Dem leader, has a lower net approving rating( -1 9 %) than either Jeremy Corbyn( -1 0) or Theresa May( -1 7 %).

May’s lead over Corbyn on who would build the best prime minister has fallen very slightly, from six points to five points.

Read more: www.theguardian.com